PEOPLE who live and work in Dumfries are paid lower wages than anywhere else in Scotland, according to a shock new report.
Dumfries and Galloway is at the bottom of the pile out of all council areas, with local residents earning an average of £15.43 per hour here.
This is around 40 per cent less than highest paid residents in East Renfrewshire.
Dumfries and Galloway also falls below the Scottish average in nearly every employment-related poverty category.
Meanwhile, the same report reveals that nearly 20,000 jobless people in the region are not interested in finding work.
The situation is laid bare in the Local Child Action Poverty Report 2022-2023. It reads: “Gross weekly pay for full-time employees in Dumfries and Galloway was lower than the national average in 2022 at £586.40 per week compared with £640.30 nationally.
“When looking at median hourly pay excluding overtime for where people live in 2022, East Renfrewshire has the highest pay at £24.91 per hour, and Dumfries and Galloway has the lowest of the 32 local authority areas in Scotland, at £15.43 per hour.
“The City of Edinburgh has the highest pay at £16.43 an hour, and Dumfries and Galloway has the second lowest of the 32 local authority areas at £12.50 per hour.”
The percentage of people in Dumfries and Galloway earning less than the Scottish ‘real living wage’ – £10.90 per hour – was 13.5 per cent last year, compared to an average of just nine per cent elsewhere in Scotland.
Last year, the unemployment rate locally was four per cent – higher than the Scottish average of 3.5 per cent.
The poverty report states: “A further 30.4 per cent of people aged between 16 and 64 living in Dumfries and Galloway (25,600 people) are economically inactive. This can be for a variety of reasons such as undertaking study/learning, caring responsibilities, unable to find work, being retired or suffering ill health. This compares with 22.6 per cent nationally. Of those, 22.2 per cent (5700 people) wish to find a job, while 77.8 per cent (19,900 people) do not.
“The percentage of the local population who are out of work due to long term illness is 34.5 per cent (8800 people).”
The figures have been collated from sources including the Office of National Statistics and the Scotland Household Survey.
They will be presented to councillors next week, along with previously released figures highlighting that child poverty levels are now at 26 per cent in Dumfries and Galloway.
Children are considered to be living in poverty if they live in households with less than 60 per cent of median household income., e.g. a family is living on less than £360 a week for a single person with children aged five and 14, or less than £485 a week for a couple with children aged five and 14.